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$60 Million High School Football Stadium To Close Due To Safety Concerns

Allen Eagles

Back in September 2012, I noted that Allen High School in Allen, Texas had just opened a new football stadium and athletic complex that cost $60,000,000 to construct. Today, The Dallas Morning News reports that the stadium will be closed for at least the upcoming football season due to serious safety concerns:

ALLEN — Allen ISD officials said Monday that design flaws appear to have contributed to problems with cracking of concrete at the district’s new $60 million stadium, prompting them to close the stadium for the next football season.

Previously, PBK Architects, which designed the stadium, said the problems in the concourse level were probably caused by shrinkage in the concrete.

But an analysis commissioned by the district shows engineers have found design deficiencies at the concourse level, according to documents released toThe Dallas Morning News.

Partial findings by Nelson Forensics indicate that some support structures were not designed in a way that would hold the weight anticipated on that level of the stadium.

“The stadium is not safe for public assembly,” Superintendent Lance Hindt said.

Nelson Forensics’ analysis is at least 70 percent complete, Hindt said. The final report is expected in June.

Approved by voters in 2009, Eagle Stadium rivals college facilities in grandeur. It opened in 2012 but shut down in February, when officials got a preliminary report about the cracking.

To say that the School District hasn’t gotten its money’s worth is an understatement.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    If you have ever spent time in Texas…stadiums like this aren’t unusual.
    I’ve seen pretty extravagant facilities even for the 8-man teams smaller high schools have.

    Anyway…PBK is an Architecture+Engineering firm…which makes me think that all the design work was done in house. Often Architecture firms hire outside consultants for Engineering, Mechanical Systems, etc.
    It appears PBK made critical errors both in the design phase, and in their oversight of the construction phase. (Interestingly the stadium is still front and center on their web-page –if you click through to “Sports and Events”.)
    This is not going to turn out well for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. michael reynolds says:

    With my psychic powers I was able to deduce the state we were talking about from just the headline. Only Texans are dumb enough to waste 60 million on football.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  3. legion says:

    If you’re wild enough (people outside TX would use the term”insanely stupid”) about HS sports to spend $60 mil on a stadium, you’re stupid enough not to notice the firm overcharging, cutting corners, and just generally being incompetent. If you’re gonna grift, grift big.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  4. legion says:

    @C. Clavin: It depends. If they’re really dumb, it could go badly for them, but if they’re truly crooked they may have had the sense to get the district to sign the kind of contracts that shield the firm from any liability. It’ll be a damned interesting discovery phase, that’s for sure…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. grumpy realist says:

    What IS it about architects not being good engineers? Frank Lloyd Wright was notorious for designing buildings that don’t stand up to the test of time.

    (I do have to giggle at this one. $60 million dollars and they still don’t have a stadium they can use.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. C. Clavin says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Ouch…you struck a nerve.
    Short answer…Architects are not Engineers.
    As for Wright…his successes far outnumber his failures…and I’m not even a fan. The mistakes he did make were when he was pushing the envelope.
    Falling Water has some issues…but also changed Architecture for the better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. sam says:

    “Falling Water has some issues”

    I understand that the Imperial Hotel n Toyko withstood the great quake of 1923 (with some damage, true) while everything else in Tokyo was flattened. Wright built the thing on swampland on what he called “floating foundations.” I’ve read the hotel rode the quake like a ship on the ocean. I don’t know if Wright played any football…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. wr says:

    A perfect example of Republican governance.

    First, slash spending on education.

    Second, take the savings and pour it into a useless piece of infrastructure, no matter what real needs the community has.

    Third, give the job to some crony who will do the job on the cheap while making sure all the money gets properly funneled to the cronies.

    Fourth, when the project turns out to be a failure, claim it’s proof that governmen is incapable of doing anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  9. MarkedMan says:

    I am far too close minded about the US South. And so I shouldn’t compound it by noting that after living in LA, GA and MD, I came back north to have kids, in large part because it seemed like the Northeast cares about its schools while the South cares about its school’s football teams.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. Tillman says:

    I can picture what my high school’s “stadium” looked like compared to this one just based on the fact that the field had to be a hundred yards, and wow, we had a lot more trees.

    And no two-tier seating. They really get that kind of attendance at football–oh, Texas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. al-Ameda says:

    Isn’t there any way that Texans can blame the Federal Government Department of Education for this fiasco?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: the contractors will take care of it, they already said so, the arct. are probably trying to save face. that school is something else, i taught some college courses there while the college was building a new wing. they don’t worry all that much about money, there’s plenty of it out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. ernieyeball says:

    @michael reynolds: With my psychic powers I was able to deduce the state we were talking about from just the headline.

    wooo! hooo! psychic powers! You and Uri Geller!
    That and as noted in the item this Stadium was mentioned in a story in Sep. 2012.
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/texas-high-school-builds-60-million-football-stadium/
    A thread you commented on…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @sam: If you’ve ever seen the facade of the Imperial Hotel (preserved for posterity when they tore the hotel down several years ago) you’d say God is that one ugly mutha…..

    Wright chose a particular local Japanese stone that makes the thing look like it’s decaying having caught some form of alien disease….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. anjin-san says:

    @ al-Ameda

    Totally Obama’s fault. Totally.

    @ bill

    the contractors will take care of it, they already said so

    And when a contractor tells you he will take care of the very thing he hosed in the first place, you can take it to the bank.

    You don’t get out much, do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    You missed the part where you infer that black and brown folks are somehow to blame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. anjin-san says:

    De La Salle, home of arguably the best high school football program in the country is just a short way down the road from me. Here’s where they play

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0